Wholesome Hinterland

It’s common knowledge that Byron Bay is a melting pot of surf culture, alternative lifestyles, and hedonistic pursuits, but that’s not the only attraction to the Northern Rivers region. A 9-hour drive for most might sound daunting, but when your destination encompassing green rolling hills, fertile farmlands, a hand-built cottage and dense rainforests, our trip from Sydney’s northern beaches became the best decision we made! Offering a scenic and cultural contrast to Byron’s beach lifestyle, you’ll find there’s is a lot to discover in the World Heritage-listed rainforests, historic villages and green valleys of the Byron Bay Hinterland. Logging, cattle farming, dairy farming, bananas and also sugarcane have dominated the region, carving the hinterland into a series of small villages and hamlets connected by a meandering web of country roads, rolling hills, streams, rivers and abandoned railway tracks. In more recent times the region has also become known for its counter-culture, spawning many small organic and permaculture farms and multiple-occupancy properties.

The region is also Australia’s premier macadamia producer, has a flourishing coffee industry, and sports some remarkable retreats, day spas and restaurants for you to soak up the tranquillity. Driving the winding roads through the Tintenbar hills at golden hour, we arrived at Paddock Hall to see the cottage glowing before us. Settling in was smooth, we greeted the farm animals, started up the fireplace, opened a bottle then dined down the road at Harvest - an unforgettable experience. At the crack of dawn, we awoke and warmed up with some hot coffee, avocado on toast from the freshly baked sourdough from Harvest and a soak in the bubbly outdoor claw-foot bath (a definite stand out for us), with the friendly goat, Harper providing company! From there we set out for a day fuelled by adventure - hiking, swimming and feeding - we couldn't get enough so we made sure our stay was more than just one night!

Paddock Hall is a hand built bohemian cabin, consciously designed for recuperation and reconnection to nature. (Look at the gorgeous green of the subtropics even as we head deep into winter.) Situated on the owner’s property, ‘Yalburabah’, meaning ‘place of healing’ in the language of the indigenous Bundjalung people of the area. Yalburabah is a working macadamia farm and home, on a quiet rural road tucked away in the heart of Tintenbar.

Things We Did

  • Sunrise
  • Swim
  • Farm
  • Beach
  • Food & Drink
Cape Byron Lighthouse
The most easterly point on Australia’s mainland. Take the hour long walk from Byron town centre to be the first to watch the sun rise over the shores - there’s something very special about greeting the first rays of the day from the small viewing platform at the summit....
Tallow Beach
Set in the Arakwal Nation Park, Tallow Beach is alive with osprey and white-bellied sea eagles scouring the coast in search of food. As you relax on the sand, pied oystercatchers wander past searching for pippis....
Tintenbar Farm Animals
Harper the goat, was hand-raised on the property and he's got chickens, sheep and cows as neighbours!...
Belongil Beach, Byron
Situated on a thin strip of land surrounded by ocean and bushland, Belongil Beach is a great spot, because it's quiet and dog friendly!...
Restaurant, deli and bakery, serving up the best of the hinterland’s organic fruit and produce. What they can’t source locally or forage for, they grow themselves in their kitchen garden, visible from your table....

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Where we stayed
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